With the incisive pen of a newspaperman and the compassionate soul of a poet, Mike Royko was a Chicago institution who became, in Jimmy Breslin's words, "the best journalist of his time." Culled from 7500 columns and spanning four decades, from his early days to his last dispatch, the writings in this collection reflect a radically changing America as seen by a man whose keen sense of justice and humor never faltered. Faithful readers will find their old favorites and develop new ones, while the uninitiated have the enviable good fortune of experiencing this true American voice for the first time.
"A treasure trove lies between these covers. Royko was in a class by himself. He was a true original."--Ann Landers
"The joy of One More Time is Royko in his own words."--Mary Eileen O'Connell, New York Times Book Review
"Reading a collection of Royko's columns is even more of a pleasure than encountering them one by one, and that is a large remark for he rarely wrote a piece that failed to wake you up with his hard-earned moral wit. Three cheers for Royko!"--Norman Mailer
"Powerful, punchy, amazingly contemporary."--Neil A. Grauer, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This crackling collection of his own favorite columns as well as those beloved by his fans reminds us just how much we miss the gruff, compassionate voice of Mike Royko."--Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News
"A marvelous road map through four decades of America."--Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune Books
"Royko was an expert at finding universal truths in parochial situations, as well as in the larger issues--war and peace, justice and injustice, wealth and poverty--he examined. Think of One More Time as one man's pungent commentary on life in these United States over the last few decades."--Booklist
"Royko was one of the most respected and admired people in the business, by readers and colleagues alike. . . . Savor [his sketches] while you can."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"Book collections of columns aren't presumed to be worth reading. This one is, whether or not you care about newspapering or Chicago."--Neil Morgan, San Diego Union-Tribune
"A treasure house for journalism students, for would-be writers, for students of writing styles, for people who just like to laugh at the absurdity of the human condition or, as Studs Terkel said, for those who will later seek to learn what it was really like in the 20th century."--Georgie Anne Geyer, Washington Times
"Full of astonishments, and the greatest of these is Royko's technical mastery as a writer."--Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker
"A great tribute to an American original, a contrarian blessed with a sense of irony and a way with words."--Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
"In this posthumous collection of his columns, journalist Royko displays the breezy wit that made him so beloved in the Windy City."--People
Mike Royko was born in Chicago in 1932 and for much of his youth lived in the flat above his family's tavern on Milwaukee Avenue. Not only did he become the most widely read columnist in Chicago history, but his column was syndicated in more than 600 newspapers across the country. He was also the author of the classic account of city machine politics, Boss. Mike Royko's last column in the Chicago Tribune appeared in March 1997, a month before his death. His memorial service was held on a sunny day in Wrigley Field.
An insightful, at times amusing walk through America's collective psyche and history by one of this century's most popular newspaper columnists. For nearly 35 years, Royko (Like I Was Sayin' . . ., 1984, etc.) entertained newspaper readers and alternately cajoled and aggravated bureaucrats. By the time the Chicago-based Pulitzer Prize - winning writer died in 1997, his columns were syndicated in more than 600 papers nationwide, and his "characters" (convenient pals, such as Slats Grobnik, who acted as literary foils) were fixtures in many Americans' lives. Here his widow and some longtime colleagues have culled 100 of Royko's best from nearly 8,000 columns. They are remarkable on many levels, not least for his ability to chum out five columns weekly (his only real break came after the death of his first wife). Royko also impresses with the breadth of his work. Sometimes he is the outraged muckraker: "A Faceless Man's Plea" decries the Veterans Administration for refusing to pay for plastic surgery that would enable a Vietnam veteran to chew food once more. (The VA changed its mind almost within hours of the column appearing in print.) At other times he is the voice of just-plain-folks, questioning exactly why our government is acting in a particular way. Sometimes he's just funny, as in the columns bemoaning his allegedly ugly feet. A gruff, no-holds-barred writer, Royko spoke for the many who are voiceless. Despite his success and the rise of celebrity journalists, he remained refreshingly unimpressed with himself. "I just hope my next column is readable, doesn't bore people," he said in a 1993 interview. "I don't have any grand scheme." Yet the continued relevance of these columns reminds us that good journalists can make a difference. A terrific compendium for those who always meant to clip and save Royko's words but didn't. (Kirkus Reviews)